Housing standards

GENERAL HOUSE OF MULTIPLE OCCUPATION MINIMUM STANDARDS

Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs), whether licensable or not, must achieve minimum standards in respect of fire safety, amenity provisions and space standards.

Requirements expected by the council will vary according to the observations and findings arising from any inspection undertaken and will be based on the advice detailed in the LACORS Housing Fire Safety guide and any other relevant legislation or housing guidance.

FIRE SAFETY RISK ASSESSMENT

  • Under the Fire Safety Order the ‘responsible person’ for a premises (e.g. a landlord or housing provider), has a duty to carry out a fire risk assessment to determine the nature and extent of the general fire precautions that may be reasonably required to ensure the premises are safe from the risk of fire.
  • In a House in Multiple Occupation these general fire precautions will include measures in relation to:
    1. reducing the risk of a fire occurring
    2. the means of escape in the case of fire
    3. the means for detecting and giving warning of fire
    4. the means for fire-fighting on the premises
    5. the action to be taken in the event of fire

Please see the Fire Safety Law page for further information on your legal duties under the Fire Safety Order and guidance on how to carry out a fire risk assessment.

FIRE SAFETY REQUIREMENTS:

  • A system of interlinked mains wired smoke alarms with integral battery back-up located in the escape route at all floor levels, in any lounge and in any cellar with additional interlinked heat alarm with integral battery back-up located in the kitchen.
  • A wall mounted fire blanket to be provided in any kitchen.
  • Final exit doors must have a lock that can be opened from the inside without a key. Locks on bedroom doors (where provided) must have a lock that can be opened without a key from the inside.
  • There must be openable windows in all habitable rooms that will allow for escape.
  • Up to two storeys: All doors that open onto escape routes must be well fitted solid doors of sound construction. Landlords may choose to install fire resistant (FD30) doors to future proof their property, but it is not a current legislative requirement.
  • Three or more storeys: All doors that open onto escape routes must be 30-minute fire resistant doors (FD30).
  • Doors to kitchens: Must be FD30 fire doors with self-closing mechanisms and heat (intumescent) seals (not smoke seals).
  • Any under-stairs cupboards must have a ceiling that is 30-minute fire resistant. Where a cupboard contains a gas or electrical appliance or other combustible item the cupboard must be of 30-minute fire resistant construction, including an FD30 fire door with heat seal.

NB.  Above are subject to fire risk assessment.

SPACE STANDARD REQUIREMENTS:

  • Any bedroom used by one person aged over 10 years must be 6.51sqm or greater;
  • Any bedroom used by two persons aged over 10 years must be 10.22sqm or greater;
  • Any bedroom used by one person aged under 10 years must be 4.64sqm or greater
  • Any room with a floor area less than 4.64sqm must not be used as sleeping accommodation.

AMENITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Four tenants will require one shared bathroom with WC, wash hand basin and bath and/or shower.
  • Five tenants will require one shared bathroom with WC, wash hand basin and bath and/or shower and an additional separate WC.
  • Six or more tenants will require two fully equipped bathrooms with WCs, wash hand basin and bath and/or shower.
  • A fully equipped and suitably designed kitchen and dining area sufficient for the numbers of tenants.
  • More than six tenants may require planning permission.

ELECTRICAL SAFETY:

  • For all HMOs, electrical installations must be inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified electrician who must issue a test certificate. This could be a NICEIC, NAPIT, ELECSA or another electrical contractor, registered with the self-certification scheme.

GAS SAFETY CERTIFICATE:

  • This is a legal requirement and places duties on all landlords to ensure that gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for the tenant’s use are safe.  Landlords must ensure that gas appliances and flues are safety checked annually by a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer and provide tenants with a record of the annual gas safety check. 

Last reviewed: 18 - 06 - 2019

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